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Demystifying Cystotomies: A Guide for Pet Owners

In the vibrant community of Renton, WA, pets are not just animals; they’re cherished family members. At Happy Tails Animal Hospital, Dr. Arshdeep Mann and his dedicated team understand the importance of providing compassionate, state-of-the-art care for our furry companions, especially when they face health challenges like bladder stones, which may require a surgical procedure known as a cystotomy. This blog post aims to shed light on cystotomies, guiding pet owners through what to expect, the reasons behind this surgery, and how to ensure a smooth recovery for their pets.

Understanding Cystotomies

A cystotomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove bladder stones (uroliths) from pets. These stones can cause discomfort, urinary blockages, and infections, leading to more severe health issues if left untreated.

Why Cystotomies Are Performed

  • Urinary Blockages: To relieve blockages in the urinary tract caused by stones.
  • Diagnosis: To identify the type of stones and tailor future preventive strategies.
  • Infection Control: To treat and prevent recurrent urinary tract infections.

Recognizing the Signs of Bladder Stones

Early detection is crucial. Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty urinating or frequent attempts to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful abdomen
  • Lethargy or changes in behavior

The Cystotomy Procedure: What to Expect

Dr. Mann emphasizes that while the prospect of surgery can be daunting, cystotomies are routine procedures with high success rates. Here’s what pet owners can expect:

  • Pre-surgical Evaluation: Includes blood tests, urinalysis, and possibly imaging studies to assess the pet’s overall health and the bladder’s condition.
  • The Surgery: Performed under general anesthesia, the veterinarian makes an incision in the bladder to remove the stones. The bladder is then carefully sutured closed.
  • Post-surgical Care: Focuses on pain management, preventing infection, and promoting healing.

Ensuring a Smooth Recovery

Post-operative care is vital for a successful recovery. Dr. Mann provides comprehensive guidance on:

  • Medication Management: Administering antibiotics and pain relief as prescribed.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Feeding a therapeutic diet if recommended, to prevent stone recurrence.
  • Activity Restriction: Limiting physical activity to allow the bladder to heal properly.
  • Follow-up Visits: Returning to Happy Tails for check-ups to ensure the bladder is healing and functioning well.

Preventing Future Bladder Stones

Prevention plays a key role in your pet’s health. Dr. Mann advises on strategies to minimize the risk of stone formation, including:

  • Hydration: Encourage your pet to drink more water to dilute the urine.
  • Dietary Changes: Implementing special diets that help prevent stone formation based on the stone type.
  • Regular Health Checks: Catching potential issues early with routine veterinary exams.

Cystotomies represent both a challenge and a solution in the journey of pet health care. At Happy Tails Animal Hospital, Dr. Arshdeep Mann and his team are dedicated to ensuring that pets receive the highest quality surgical and post-operative care, supported by compassion and expertise. For more information on how to care for a pet undergoing a cystotomy or to discuss your pet’s health concerns, contact Happy Tails Animal Hospital at 425-254-2779. Together, we can navigate the path to your pet’s health and well-being.


  1. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association: Offers insights into the latest research on bladder stones and surgical interventions in pets.
  2. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): Provides guidelines on the care and management of pets undergoing surgical procedures.
  3. Veterinary Surgery: Features articles on advanced surgical techniques and post-operative care for pets, including those undergoing cystotomies.
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